Heavy Lifting - thoughts and web finds by an economist
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Saturday, April 23, 2005
The Republicans need to find the U.S. Grant of 2005. I don't have a lot of love for the Repubs, they are only marginally better than the Dems in general, but I am getting a bit tired of the judicial filibuster.
The background. In 1860, Abraham Lincoln is elected president in a controversial election. In April of 1861, acts of domestic terrorism (the South's firing on Ft. Sumter), the nation splits, and the Civil War begins. From the get-go the South is in a bad position. While the South will fight a defensive war, with interior lines connected somewhat by rail and water, the South will always be at a disadvantage in terms of men and materiel.
Even though the North holds a lot of advantages, for the first year and a half of the war the South is basically cleaning the North's clock. After Antietam (Sharpsburg) the North again finds itself unable to deal a solid blow, especially against Lee. Lee's army is smaller and less equipped and still the North loses battle after battle until Gettysburgh in July 1863. Afterwards, however, the North once again finds itself losing battle after battle. Why? The North, that is the Republican party and Pres. Lincoln, could not find a good general, or at least one who was willing to fight and stick it out.
Not until 1864 after U.S. Grant took over the Army of the Potomac did it become clear that the South was going to lose the war. Grant fought Lee every day, instead of fighting a battle and taking a week or two to "recover." Grant started with 80,000 men in the Spring/Summer of 1864. By the end of September, the Army of the Potomac had suffered 80,000 casualties (dead, missing, and wounded). Lee had suffered about half the casualties, but the point is Grant was willing to take casualties (which was not popular in the North) and knew that if he continued to press Lee would eventually break. In April 1865, the South capitulated.
Flash forward to 2000 - controversial election, terrorism, war - but the war in Iraq is really a worry bandage. The real war is the one going on over the judiciary, specifically the appelate and supreme courts. The rule change regarding the judicial filibuster should have been invoked long ago. If the Repubs are going to be a majority party, then they ought to act like one. The leadership in the Senate, the generals if you will, are not willing to press the issue. The Repubs are getting their clocks cleaned by an undermanned, underequipped, yet clever opponent. President Bush needs to find a U.S. Grant in the Senate.
The statists (the far left of the democrat party) know that they got lucky with Roe v. Wade and are therefore willing to fight for these "rights" by Borking every conservative nominee for the Appellate and Supreme Courts. I don't think the left has a good philosophical stance in the abortion debate, just like the South didn't have a good philosophical stance when it wanted to seceed from the Union. But that doesn't mean that the statists themselves aren't willing to fight tooth and nail to keep the abortion issue out of the courts, just like the South was willling to fight tooth and nail to seceed. I know abortion isn't the only thing the statists are concerned with, but let's face it, for both sides it is the 400 lb gorilla in the hot tub.
In 1864, Pres. Lincoln needed a general to press the fight of the day and he found that general in the man of U.S. Grant. U.S. Grant was, in turn, elected president in 1868 and served two terms. In 2004/2005, Pres. Bush needs a "general," this time a Senator, to press the fight over the judicial filibuster. This person must take the fight to the statists every day (even if the media outlets don't want to go along) and point out that the founders envisioned a very different judiciary than what we have today and that the judicial filibuster is being used to ensure that legislation from the bench will continue.
The founders envisioned three separate and equal branches of government. The legislature would pass laws, the executive branch would enforce the laws, and the judiciary would be around to ensure that the laws were interpreted and enforced correctly. The judiciary was intended to be the "referee" if you will between the two other branches of government, and the states and citizenry. The executive branch was allowed to choose the referee with the "advise and concent" of the legislative branch. This seems fair, both sides essentially "agreed" on who would be the referee.
For about 200 years (before Roe v. Wade) the relationship between the three branches, while at times rocky, was mostly okay. Sure, FDR and Lincoln and other presidents did some things the courts didn't like, and McCarthy and other congress people have done some things the courts didn't like, and the states have also done some things (like segregation) that the courts didn't like. However, it was usually the courts butting heads with one of the other branches of government.
Today, the bench is legislating as well as refereeing. In other words, instead of deciding if the ball is fair or foul, many times the courts also move the foul pole at the same time. The role of referee has been diminished and replaced with passing "judgements" that have the same effect as "legislation." The courts could just as easily hand down "conservative" judgements, but in general this hasn't (and likely won't) happen. The statists know this and now struggle to protect the last branch of government in which they have some power/control.
The statists (far left) never really held the executive and legislative branches throughout most of the country, although they have been able to 'free ride' on the more centrist democrats. This is because the far left's ideas and policy prescriptions are not consistent with the underlying philosophy of this country. The disparity between the statist mentality and individual freedom is recognized, perhaps only intuitively, by many voters. Even if the statists have lost two branches of government (either directly or through the democrat party), they can fight to keep the third.
The judicial filibuster is being promoted by some of the furthest left of the democrat party, and the other democrat Senators are evidently willing to play along.The judicial filibuster is being used only against appellate judges, and likely supreme court justices, but not against trial judges. This is why the Dems can "honestly" claim they have passed off on 250 judges, but those judges are not the important ones from the point of view of the statists. The important levels are the appellate and the supreme court. The Borking of appellate judges is a new thing, and has been portrayed as an attempt to keep an individual from ultimately reaching the supreme court, but this is not what I think is going on.
The appellate court is really the supreme court lite. Why is this important? Because the supreme court doesn't hear every case that is submitted to it. Often the supreme court will let the appellate level decision stand. Therefore, the statists need to not only have statist minded judges on the supreme court but they also need those types of judges at the appellate level. This ensures that statist-minded rulings come from the appellate level which may or may not be heard or overturned by the supreme court.
If the supreme court was required to hear every case that was appealled to them, then I don't think the statists would cause such a ruckus about the appellate level judges. However, the reason the Dems are using the judicial filibuster is to keep conservative judges off the appellate bench so that the issue of abortion and other invented rights can be protected. Protecting invented rights isn't a good philosophy, but then neither was slavery.
The Republican Senator who steps forward and acts like Grant did 101 years ago, by taking the fight to the statists instead of trying to respond to the statists' lies and political games, will likely be elected president in 2008 and could serve two terms. If there is no one in the Republican party willing or able to do this, then Hillary Clinton will likely win the 2008 election, serve two terms, and nominate at least four or five Supreme Court nominees and perhaps half of the appellate court.
I don't know. It seems like a big leap from "the Repubs, they are only marginally better than the Dems in general" to "The statists know this and now struggle to protect the last branch of government in which they have some power/control" and "The statists have lost the executive and legislative branches throughout most of the country."
It sounds like the Republicans are more than marginally better than Democrats from the tone of your post.
I don't like calling those who are statist "liberal." Republicans and democrats are similar in many ways and different in others. I don't think either party does a good enough job in trade policy, reducing taxation and government spending, to name only a few. When it comes to finding "new rights" the left is much better than the right.Post a Comment
When it comes to judges I would rather have those offered by the Repubs than those demanded by the Dems. Al judges, it seems, are guaranteed to slide to the left when they have been on bench long enough. Perhaps starting a little right of center is better than far left.
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